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(77,272 posts)
Wed May 27, 2015, 11:16 AM May 2015

We’re Breeding Dogs to Death

from In These Times:

We’re Breeding Dogs to Death
The legacy of eugenics is mutilating our best friends.


Bred for looks, not health, many purebred dogs are drawn from a genetic wading pool that might have been designed by a cabal of Ralph Lauren, Dr. Frankenstein, Walt Disney and David Koch.

Even socially aware consumers who sneer at $5,000 designer purses, and animal defenders who deplore the cruelties of commercial livestock production, buy into trendy canines. Purebreds are commodities like any other luxury good, and breeding them is big business. Registered golden retrievers go for up to $3,000, English bulldogs for $9,000, and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel can cost $14,000, almost as much as a Honda Fit.

But neither price, pedigree nor being loved like a member of the family can shield a dog from the pain, breathing difficulties, cancer, panoply of debilitating genetic disorders, mental illness, crippling physiognomy and shortened life span that disproportionately plague purebreds.

The main U.S. arbiter of canine purity is the American Kennel Club. The first goal of its mission is “upholding the integrity of its Registry.” Pedigree, the AKC asserts, “creates a level of breed predictability” of “temperament and physical characteristics.” But the AKC is also a lead profiteer in an industry that Michael Brandow, author of A Matter of Breeding, decried as “a kind of long-term, institutionalized cruelty that makes vivisection look humane.” ...................(more)


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We’re Breeding Dogs to Death (Original Post) marmar May 2015 OP
Nothing like a mutt, a little bit of everything.... MADem May 2015 #1
Thank you! FrodosPet May 2015 #40
Two of my best dogs EVER were rescues from southern Europe... MADem May 2015 #57
+++ fadedrose May 2015 #63
Shelters are charging up to $500 exboyfil May 2015 #85
Dog pounds run by towns/counties are cheaper. MADem May 2015 #86
Racehorses, too. malthaussen May 2015 #2
Beat me to it. Coventina May 2015 #9
With racehorses the problem is horses bred to sell as babies for big bucks not horses bred to race. bklyncowgirl May 2015 #19
Not just racehorses - other horse breeds, too csziggy May 2015 #60
I love those quarter horses. LWolf May 2015 #80
My early years of breeding were when the Impressive bloodlines were popular csziggy May 2015 #81
I remember the dominance, for awhile, LWolf May 2015 #87
Hancock was a good line csziggy May 2015 #90
He looks a lot like LWolf May 2015 #91
OoO- I'm jealous - I want to breed my youngest mare to a Jaz stallion! csziggy May 2015 #92
He was local to me; LWolf Jun 2015 #96
Nice - I love that picture of him playing with the feed tub! csziggy Jun 2015 #99
Not just race horses. LWolf May 2015 #79
Yeah, how used up or non-winning greyhounds are put down is a tragic, dirty secret. nt brush Jun 2015 #126
AKC, the NRA of dogs. nt valerief May 2015 #3
I only have mixed breed rescue dogs. upaloopa May 2015 #4
Mine are mixed breed rescues also. Fuddnik May 2015 #29
I've Got A Lab, But. . . ProfessorGAC May 2015 #38
We had Arabians and yes they were bred upaloopa May 2015 #48
I heard that labs can be any color from any parent. AngryAmish May 2015 #54
More and more, Ineeda May 2015 #5
It has nothing to do with Paris Hilton Scootaloo Jun 2015 #103
It's always been a issue, and the severity can be influenced... Lancero Jun 2015 #107
I would blame idiots who think they can buy a chihuahua and "be like" Paris, et al. Scootaloo Jun 2015 #109
Great article swilton May 2015 #6
One of my cats is diabetic and is on Lantus REP May 2015 #8
Mine, too! lapislzi May 2015 #21
My insulin was switched to Lantus REP May 2015 #37
Same for cats. The Velveteen Ocelot May 2015 #7
Persians used to have noses REP May 2015 #10
Siamese didn't used to look like weasels. The Velveteen Ocelot May 2015 #11
I think the "wedge" skull is harmful REP May 2015 #35
Anybody who knows anything VA_Jill May 2015 #33
You assume too much REP May 2015 #36
IF VA_Jill May 2015 #75
Yes -- makes me so mad! I feel horrible for the poor tiny-nosed "smoosh faced" kitties. Arugula Latte May 2015 #41
Jackson Galaxy, the "My Cat From Hell" behaviorist, went on an absolutely bullwinkle428 Jun 2015 #102
"We" are not. Hate manipulative headlines like this. kickysnana May 2015 #12
+1. nt OnyxCollie May 2015 #28
Soledad O'Brien did a segment on Real Sports about smokey nj May 2015 #13
Dog breeding upsets me. hunter May 2015 #14
I'm not opposed to breeding a dog do do a certain job or sport bklyncowgirl May 2015 #15
Yes, backyard breeders should be outlawed BrotherIvan May 2015 #17
not outlawed... but licensed and regulated ProdigalJunkMail May 2015 #18
What you described is 1 in a million BrotherIvan May 2015 #22
maybe 'independent' is the word? ProdigalJunkMail May 2015 #23
Our border collie came from a working ranch DisgustipatedinCA May 2015 #39
If it was illegal to sell dogs, then no one could have dogs as pets anymore. pnwmom May 2015 #50
That makes no sense. hunter May 2015 #68
Even the dogs you take in as strays or adopt from the shelter came from somewhere. pnwmom May 2015 #70
Would you say the same about human babies? hunter May 2015 #72
No, but you eat meat, don't you? It's an animal product that is bought and sold. pnwmom May 2015 #73
I do believe our rescued animal friends SheilaT Jun 2015 #114
I agree IDemo Jun 2015 #128
Not true kcr Jun 2015 #97
No. If it was illegal to sell dogs, then no one would be having 'pure bred' breeds anymore. Lancero Jun 2015 #113
Putting an end to inbreeding is a step in the right direction... Act_of_Reparation May 2015 #51
Good point BrotherIvan May 2015 #58
My dogs are FCI registered. Completely different outlook than the AKC Drahthaardogs May 2015 #62
An interesting article about cancer in purebreds: femmocrat May 2015 #16
In some breeds, including Goldens, neutering raises the risk of serious cancers. pnwmom Jun 2015 #108
Wow, that is really shocking. femmocrat Jun 2015 #125
There is an alternative, without the health effects, that is far more common in Europe. pnwmom Jun 2015 #127
My Rottweiler suffered from liver and bone cancer, RebelOne Jun 2015 #111
K&R! Pics of breed changes over time: demmiblue May 2015 #20
As with cats: The Velveteen Ocelot May 2015 #25
Makes me so upset. I despise breeders. Arugula Latte May 2015 #44
It really is abusive. demmiblue May 2015 #46
Wow Stargazer09 May 2015 #55
i remember when Siamese were such pretty cats. hifiguy May 2015 #61
KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE! Telcontar May 2015 #94
My gods, that's horrifying! I had no idea. What are they thinking? Hekate Jun 2015 #95
I think the breed standard Saimese is pretty... Lancero Jun 2015 #110
The German Shepherd is the dog that I cry most for RockaFowler May 2015 #26
That is even more drastic than the pic I posted. demmiblue May 2015 #47
I had a border collie mix when the AKC was considering adding them to a breed list hollysmom May 2015 #31
Border collies are fascinating. demmiblue May 2015 #32
my dog was redcuedto herding people or geesee inthe park hollysmom May 2015 #34
Love watching the herding games :) Marrah_G May 2015 #43
There's more than one registry for working border collies Major Nikon May 2015 #67
Same with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. phylny Jun 2015 #98
20 years ifs awfully fast to ruin a breed. hollysmom Jun 2015 #100
My brother and sister-in-law adopted a CKCS a couple of years ago. The poor thing bullwinkle428 Jun 2015 #104
Those pictures are so sad Marrah_G May 2015 #53
It's cruel what we have done to some breeds. Boudica the Lyoness Jun 2015 #123
Yeah, it started with the domestication of non-human life all those years ago The2ndWheel May 2015 #24
Poor babies Lunabell May 2015 #27
I recently read "A Matter of Breeding" SheilaT May 2015 #30
I think my husky mix is even more beautiful then a purebred Marrah_G May 2015 #42
Breed sparingly, for health and good temperament. DirkGently May 2015 #45
Our dogs are healthy, deliberately-bred mixes, pnwmom May 2015 #52
My favorite breed is a purebred Lab - purebred German Shepherd mix. Zorra Jun 2015 #105
I can see how that could be a good mix. pnwmom Jun 2015 #106
And this is what the bushes and the creepy eugenics people want to do to humans Dont call me Shirley May 2015 #49
The Bush family eugenics experiment hasn't turned out well... hunter May 2015 #69
Golden retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia. KamaAina May 2015 #56
And cancers HereSince1628 May 2015 #89
I love my strays... a la izquierda May 2015 #59
It is so sad. Texasgal May 2015 #64
It'll be OK - a couple generations after people and they'll all be mutts again Baclava May 2015 #65
Westminster and the AKC can all go thoroughly fuck themselves. NuclearDem May 2015 #66
I love my mixed breed. Quantess May 2015 #71
I've done a little more reading on this, and learned some interesting things. The Velveteen Ocelot May 2015 #74
The AKC refuses to acknowledge that their standards are smokey nj May 2015 #77
Read Temple Grandin VA_Jill May 2015 #76
I like working breeds, LWolf May 2015 #78
We have one dog who is a Lab mix of some kind. murielm99 May 2015 #82
Just now saw this Omaha Steve May 2015 #83
Love my two shelter dogs exboyfil May 2015 #84
I got a little gal who was being rehomed. She has hybrid vigor from nose to tail. And smart. Hekate May 2015 #88
I'll keep my Shepsky (and he's a non-breeder) IDemo May 2015 #93
He looks like he just heard the funniest joke ever! smokey nj Jun 2015 #101
I think our adopted husky is a quarter white shepherd. hunter Jun 2015 #112
We also have a purebred white shepherd IDemo Jun 2015 #115
Lovely family! hunter Jun 2015 #116
The white shepherd was turned into the shelter in extremely bad shape IDemo Jun 2015 #118
He resembles my husky mix a bit :) Marrah_G Jun 2015 #117
He's a smiler IDemo Jun 2015 #119
Yup, they all do :) Marrah_G Jun 2015 #120
He can sure howl like a wolf when we leave the house IDemo Jun 2015 #121
I know right? Marrah_G Jun 2015 #124
You've got some fine-looking woofies, there. All three of them! countryjake Jun 2015 #122


(135,425 posts)
57. Two of my best dogs EVER were rescues from southern Europe...
Wed May 27, 2015, 06:00 PM
May 2015

Little streetwalkers! One had been left to die in a dumpster--most loyal pet I could have ever asked for.


(17,880 posts)
85. Shelters are charging up to $500
Sun May 31, 2015, 04:16 PM
May 2015

for an adoption. I understand the motivation behind it, but at those prices I might look elsewhere for a dog (I have adopted two dogs from the shelter).

You are right about mixed breeds. I actually prefer a mixed breed dog about one year old to adopt. Given the vet bill expenses when my two wonderful dogs are gone (10 and 8) I probably won't get another dog.


(135,425 posts)
86. Dog pounds run by towns/counties are cheaper.
Sun May 31, 2015, 04:25 PM
May 2015

No Kill shelters charge more because you're paying for the cost of maintaining the less attractive/unadoptable pets as well. Usually, too, the shelter pet is already fixed w/shots--that's a few hundred right there. Check out prices to spay/neuter...it's a lot.


(7,960 posts)
19. With racehorses the problem is horses bred to sell as babies for big bucks not horses bred to race.
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:08 PM
May 2015

In the old days breeders bred horses that they intended to race themselves. The emphasis was on durability as well as speed. Today most breeders breed for the sales ring. They will spend enormous sums of money to breed to fashionably bred colts who were brilliant and speedy as two year olds but who went lame and were retired before they turned four. The colts are exercised on treadmills, shot up with steroids and subjected to corrective surgery in order to get that perfect sales ring look. The goal is a beautiful colt who will bring six or even seven figures at the yearling sales.

A less fashionably bred racehorse will simply not be as valuable at stud no matter what he's done on the track.
For example, Derby and Preakness winner American Pharoah's breeding rights were just sold for 20 million despite the fact that he has to run in a special shoe to protect his tender feet and his sire and grandsire were both retired at three with unspecified ailments--mind you if he wins the Triple Crown, Coolmore, the breeding corporation who bought him, will have gotten a bargain. On the other hand California Chrome, a cheaply bred horse, who won 2/3rds of the Triple Crown last year would be lucky to get half that, despite being fast, durable and versatile. He was cheaply bred from a local stallion and his owners' failed race mare. Right now he is training in England in the hope that a win at Royal Ascot will spark interest from foreign breeders who have in recent years been shunning American horses since many of them are unable to run without Lasix and other drugs. Bottom line, he is just not valuable as a commercial stud.

This emphasis on the sales ring is doing great damage to the Thoroughbred breed just as emphasis on the show ring is damaging dogs.


(34,151 posts)
60. Not just racehorses - other horse breeds, too
Wed May 27, 2015, 08:43 PM
May 2015

American Quarter Horses registered by AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association), which were originally known for being all round horses that could do just about any job, have now split into several different sub-breeds: racing Quarter horses, halter horses, show horses, and the rest.

Racing quarter horses have been crossed back with Thoroughbred race horses so much they don't even look like a Quarter horse any more. Halter horses are shown for their looks - many are not ridable and many of the bloodlines that are renowned for being halter horses have few individuals that have even been trained to saddle. Some bloodlines of show horses are well rounded, but many are only capable of doing one type of showing.

The rest, well, it got so bad for those who wanted to breed classic all round capable Quarter Horses that they started new breed associations, known for their "foundation" Quarter horses that have to have above a certain percentage of the old Quarter horse lines.

I bred Quarter Horses for years and the first few years I was in the business I showed my young foals at the AQHA shows. My horses did badly and I didn't understand why until a judge took me aside. he told me that if he were buying a Quarter horse to ride and show under saddle, out of the class he would pick mine. But he said he didn't place my filly in the ribbons because she wasn't a "halter" horse. That was the last time I showed AQHA.

The horses I bred were foundation type and foals I produced have been shown in many different types of events - even in halter. My babies have shown hunter, eventing, dressage, working cow horse, Western pleasure, trail, and have made a lot of people reliable pleasure riding horses. But none of them ever did well at AQHA shows - and I don't give a shit.


(46,179 posts)
80. I love those quarter horses.
Sun May 31, 2015, 01:51 PM
May 2015

Which is why I only bred my mare back to foundation stock.

When I first looked for studs for her I was shocked at what was out there; horses who'd done okay for a year in an arena, but lacked the bone, soundness, and substance I was looking for.


(34,151 posts)
81. My early years of breeding were when the Impressive bloodlines were popular
Sun May 31, 2015, 02:26 PM
May 2015

I don't know if you are familiar with that line of Quarter horses, but Impressive was a stallion who produced a lot of foals that did well at mostly halter classes. I never liked the horses from that line - they were weak in the loin, strung out, and could not move well from my observations. Most did well only as halter horses and were not known for winning performance or working classes. I was criticized for not buying some broodmares from that line and turning down free breedings from a stallion owner who was trying to promote his Impressive grandson. The horses just were not what I wanted to produce.

Later, it was found that that line carried a gene that causes a "condition known as hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP). This condition is characterized by intermittent episodes of muscle tremors (shaking or trembling, weaknesses and/or collapse)." http://www.aqha.com/About/Content-Pages/About-the-Association/Services/HYPP.aspx It is a defect in the sodium channel that carries minerals through the cell walls. Imbalance of the minerals cause the tremors because the muscles do not have the proper levels of minerals to function.

So many Impressive descendants were being sold to unsuspecting buyers AQHA eventually had to start DNA testing of all AQHA horses to inform people and remove the stigma from the breed. When they first began the testing they did not release the name of the KNOWN stallion with which the genetic defect originated. It took years before AQHA finally acknowledged what most Quarter horse people knew.

AQHA still will not eliminate that line from their books - they do require genetic testing so owners and buyers are aware. But breeding the horses that test positive - whether hetreozygous or homozygous - is not prohibited so the association is still allowing production of a trait which causes agony for some horses and death for others. The other two genetic traits that AQHA tracks and limits, Parrot Mouth and Cryptorchid conditions, are not fatal, just undesirable. (Parrot mouth is an overbite and causes problems with eating a nutrition; Cryptorchid is retained testicles which make it expensive to neuter and impossible to verify that the horse has been neutered completely - since the horse may still be fertile {though chances are reduced} and still produces male hormones, this affects the horse's personality and usefulness.)


(46,179 posts)
87. I remember the dominance, for awhile,
Sun May 31, 2015, 04:34 PM
May 2015

of Impressive bloodlines.

My old mare, an appendix qh, is out of a Hancock mare and by a tb stud. She took me many, many miles through her youth and her prime; she stayed sound, and was as reliable as they come out on the trail in any conditions, but was always too "hot." I bred her back to foundation qhs (twice) to dilute the TB, and have her 2 great daughters out in the barn now.


(34,151 posts)
90. Hancock was a good line
Sun May 31, 2015, 08:30 PM
May 2015

Most of mine are heavy Poco Bueno blood. My stallion had Poco Bueno showing on his papers twice and King once. The fourth line was Three Bars - the only TB blood he had.

Here he is as a three year old (from 1983):

He sure shows his Poco blood, doesn't he?

I had a daughter of Two Eyed Jack and granddaughters of Sonny Dee Bar and Blondy's Dude with some Leo blood and Skipper W thrown in. The favorite mare I still have is registered AQHA, Foundation Quarter Horse Association, International Buckskin Horse Association, American Buckskin Association and American Warmblood Society - she got a silver medal at her warmblood inspection.

Here she is with a 2005 filly by a World Champion cutting horse stallion:

I'm not breeding any more - foals are not selling and I can't afford to keep them all. I've got four mares and one gelding that was from our last breeding season. No good pictures of him, but at three years old he's over 16 hands. Right now he's being ridden pre-hunter since he's too young to jump. He's big and rangy and while he can do the Western jog, he just doesn't look the part. He's got a wonderful big trot and a gorgeous canter. If I were still riding, I'd want to take him dressage but the girl that is working him prefers hunter so I'll let her campaign him.


(46,179 posts)
91. He looks a lot like
Sun May 31, 2015, 09:08 PM
May 2015

the Jaz Ranch bred Poco Bueno stud my youngest mare is by.

I loved raising foals. My problem is that when I've bred and raised them, I can't sell them, and I can't afford to keep any more. That, and my age and working hours don't allow me the time with them they should be getting. At this point, they are pasture pets. I still spend daily time with them, but that time generally involves feeding, watering, scooping, and grooming, and that's about it.


(34,151 posts)
92. OoO- I'm jealous - I want to breed my youngest mare to a Jaz stallion!
Sun May 31, 2015, 09:19 PM
May 2015

But Jaz Ranch only sells frozen semen and my vet is very negative on the conception rate. I'd love to breed this mare to one - she's now 9 years old, daughter of the mare in the other photo:

Add to that is that over twenty years ago the surgeon that rebuilt my shoulder told me to stop wrestling babies so I have to have someone else halter break them and handle them - something I loved. And the last year, 2012, we had foals our two births were on the days before I saw my knee guy and then the surgeon to arrange for knee replacement. It didn't help that both foals were problems - the first was tangled with the mare's legs and birth sac (that's the three year old) and the second was a dummy foal that we had to put to sleep. After 35 years of breeding with almost no problems, to have two in the same year on top of my health problems kind of took any wish to do it again out of me.


(46,179 posts)
96. He was local to me;
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 07:54 AM
Jun 2015

bought from the Jaz ranch as a weanling.

When the economy crashed, he was gelded and sold, as his owners were retiring and nobody was breeding their mares at that point. Here is a picture of him:


(34,151 posts)
99. Nice - I love that picture of him playing with the feed tub!
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 12:30 PM
Jun 2015

The sire of the grulla mare used to play like that. He was a son of my old stallion out of a daughter who was a cross between the Two Eyed Jack mare and He's A Dude by Blondy's Dude. As a yearling we gave him a plastic barrel and he would roll it up and down the hill just for fun. He also moved his feed tub around - and one morning it was missing. A year later I found it at the bottom of the water trough. When we sent him off to the trainer, the trainer complained - he used road cones to lay out courses to work the horses. If he turned the young stallion out in the arena, every cone would be moved or thrown over the fence.

Oh well - if my mare is meant to be bred the chance will come. Right now the only stallion I have easy access to is her full brother so that is not happening! I have enough trouble feeding and taking care of the five horses I have now. But they won't be sold. They have a home for life and will join their ancestors who are buried here.


(46,179 posts)
79. Not just race horses.
Sun May 31, 2015, 01:46 PM
May 2015

Horses are expensive animals to keep, and breeding them for specific characteristics is especially harmful, since they are actually quite fragile.

Soundness goes out the window when the industry wants them to compete at 2-3, before they've fully matured, and then retire to the breeding shed. They don't have to be conformed well enough to stay sound for a life time; the just have to survive a few years of physical stress in their youth.

There are exceptions, of course, but I've seen horses bred to exaggerate certain physical characteristics to such an extreme that they are NEVER sound for any kind of use. Halter horses are the poster equines, of course, but there are other breeds and disciplines, as well.


(11,417 posts)
4. I only have mixed breed rescue dogs.
Wed May 27, 2015, 11:29 AM
May 2015

People ask what kind of dog our big one is. He is a mix but very good looking and very lovable.
I am not breeding dogs to death.


(66,177 posts)
38. I've Got A Lab, But. . .
Wed May 27, 2015, 03:42 PM
May 2015

. . .this one was actually just because the farmers had a female yellow and a male black. They don't breed dogs, just ended up with a litter. Then, fixed the two older dogs, because they didn't want to deal with it again.

Weird thing was, they DO breed horses.


(11,417 posts)
48. We had Arabians and yes they were bred
Wed May 27, 2015, 04:35 PM
May 2015

The idea is that if you want a registered Arabian you have to be able to trace the lineage back.
All ours were registered. You even have to submit your name choice for approval.
I don't know if breeding horses kills them


(3,626 posts)
5. More and more,
Wed May 27, 2015, 11:30 AM
May 2015

dogs, especially the little ones, are used as fashion accessories. The influence of idjits like Paris Hilton, et al.



(25,699 posts)
103. It has nothing to do with Paris Hilton
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 09:34 PM
Jun 2015

The wealthy and "elite" were already breeding tiny degenerate dogs back in the 18th century - before, in some cases.



(25,699 posts)
109. I would blame idiots who think they can buy a chihuahua and "be like" Paris, et al.
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 10:06 PM
Jun 2015

I dunno how she treats her dog. Or, more likely, how her "people" treat the animal. But i'd be willing to bet it's cared for by someone who's not incompetent. The same couldn't be said for the copycats.



(5,069 posts)
6. Great article
Wed May 27, 2015, 11:31 AM
May 2015

I have rescued all of my 3 dogs - 1 Chihuahua-mix found beside the road 9 years ago, the other 2 pugs whose owner could no longer keep them and adopted 5 years ago...

As I get older it's increasingly hard to cover their vet bills - I feel like there is an underground link between the veterinarian industry and pharmaceuticals....The vets seems to push on me medications that these three dogs (all indoor that I never let off-leash off of a sidewalk to walk on green chem-lawns) don't need....And my sense is that the push to buy pet health insurance just ensures that the vet prices will continue to put even rescued dogs out of affordability.


(21,691 posts)
8. One of my cats is diabetic and is on Lantus
Wed May 27, 2015, 11:37 AM
May 2015

Lantus is one of the newer, better long-acting insulins. It's also over $200.00 a vial since he's a cat and it's not covered by my insurance. It's so obvious how much better he feels, though, it's money well spent.


(5,762 posts)
21. Mine, too!
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:11 PM
May 2015

Sugar Cat was diagnosed 4 years ago. He almost died. He's much better now. Hopefully he can go out and get a job now, to help pay for his care

The Velveteen Ocelot

(116,659 posts)
7. Same for cats.
Wed May 27, 2015, 11:34 AM
May 2015

An article about how inbreeding to get a "breed standard" works, and what happens:

The effects of inbreeding have been dire. Siamese have cancer rates rivaling those of Bernese mountain dogs and other cancer-prone dog breeds. They are especially prone to breast cancer. Accordingly, the life span of the Siamese is considerably shorter—with a median length of 10–12 years in one study—than that of the average house cat (15–20 years). Other “natural breeds,” such as the Abyssinian, also have shortened life expectancies as a result of inbreeding. Those that live longest are prone to blindness by means of progressive retinal atrophy and other defects of premature aging.



(21,691 posts)
10. Persians used to have noses
Wed May 27, 2015, 11:45 AM
May 2015

And didn't have persistent eye and breathing problems. The new standard for Siamese is causing eye problems for them. Breeding Manx is extremely dangerous for the cats ... I could go on. These freakish standards are causing great harm to cats.

The Velveteen Ocelot

(116,659 posts)
11. Siamese didn't used to look like weasels.
Wed May 27, 2015, 11:50 AM
May 2015

The "breed standard" makes them look like aliens. And the breeding of Munchkins - cats with abnormally short legs, like dachshunds - is cruel; they'll have the same back problems as dachshunds and can't even jump like normal cats. My cats are mutts. One of them has enough Siamese ancestry to give her blue eyes, but otherwise she's just a normal cat and not some freakish weasel-thing.


(21,691 posts)
35. I think the "wedge" skull is harmful
Wed May 27, 2015, 03:14 PM
May 2015

Not only is the extremely narrow skull of the modern Siamese much less pretty than the "apple head," I think it is detrimental to the intelligence of the cat to have such a narrow brain case. And breeding for such a serious defect as exhibited in the Munchkin is inexcusable.

The cats I live with are strays and rescues. I've lived with rejects from breeding programs and discarded purebreds. They are and were all good, sweet, loveable cats who should've never been stray, discarded or abandoned.


(10,177 posts)
33. Anybody who knows anything
Wed May 27, 2015, 02:29 PM
May 2015

about raising Manx cats knows that you ALWAYS keep some "stumpies" specifically for breeding. A Manx litter will often contain all three types: "rumpies" (tailless), "stumpies" (those with anywhere from one tail joint to a definite but short tail), and "longies". Only the "rumpies" can be shown for championship, but the "stumpies" are kept for breeding and are often shown in the "Household Pet" division at shows. Breeding "rumpy" to "rumpy" for three generations results in a litter of dead kittens, but keeping the "stumpies" (and even "longies&quot around is how Mother Nature did it it before breeders got into the business, and how breeders do it today.

Here endeth the lesson.


(21,691 posts)
36. You assume too much
Wed May 27, 2015, 03:16 PM
May 2015

That I don't understand the genetics of the Manx


That backyard breeders do.


(10,177 posts)
75. IF
Sun May 31, 2015, 01:14 PM
May 2015

there are backyard breeders of Manx cats who DON'T know (or figure it out damn quick!), they won't be around long!


Arugula Latte

(50,566 posts)
41. Yes -- makes me so mad! I feel horrible for the poor tiny-nosed "smoosh faced" kitties.
Wed May 27, 2015, 04:16 PM
May 2015

And the Munchkins -- how dare people do that to kitties intentionally?!

Goddamn, I can't even express how much I despise breeders.


(20,634 posts)
102. Jackson Galaxy, the "My Cat From Hell" behaviorist, went on an absolutely
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 09:28 PM
Jun 2015

righteous rant a few weeks back on an episode of the show. One of the featured kitties was a Munchkin, which is a cat with extremely short legs, like a Dacschund dog. It was a genetic mutation, but someone thought it was a cute feature, so they began breeding them. He explained that these cats cannot fully engage in their natural instincts due to the limitations of their legs, so they tend to get fatigued very easily and literally exhibit symptoms of depression because of this.

smokey nj

(43,853 posts)
13. Soledad O'Brien did a segment on Real Sports about
Wed May 27, 2015, 12:18 PM
May 2015

this. The AKC representative interviewed had nothing but weasel words to defend his organization.


(38,481 posts)
14. Dog breeding upsets me.
Wed May 27, 2015, 12:20 PM
May 2015

I often wonder what kind of legislation and enforcement it would take to end this "industry." Dogs are not fashion accessories.

All three of our dogs were adopted from the animal shelter, and all three have problems related to unethical dog breeding.


(7,960 posts)
15. I'm not opposed to breeding a dog do do a certain job or sport
Wed May 27, 2015, 12:31 PM
May 2015

It's when looks become more important than function that you get these problems. Collies that can't see, German Shepherds whose hips are shot by the time they're six.


(9,126 posts)
17. Yes, backyard breeders should be outlawed
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:02 PM
May 2015

If you've ever worked rescue, you see the terrible conditions and abuse of these poor animals. It should be illegal to sell animals just like it is to sell humans. People breed the females until they can't anymore then take them to the shelter. The dogs will live outside in cages away from human contact. There is disease and malnourishment and lots of inbreeding. It is horrifying. And some people will argue that there are some that aren't bad, well not enough to outweigh the bad ones. And then people unknowingly get one of the animals with health or behavior problems and don't know what to do.


(12,017 posts)
18. not outlawed... but licensed and regulated
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:08 PM
May 2015

we got our lab from a 'backyard breeder'... AKC registered beautiful animal (she will never be bred, though). these dogs lived on a huge piece of land and spent large amounts of their time free-roaming the property and swimming/playing in the lake. their doghouses were under cover so they were never rained on and their kennels were cleaned probably more frequently than my home. it was the most amazing breeder i have ever seen. they obviously loved the dogs... and they still email with us to check in from time to time.

so, to outlaw them is not the answer. the answer is to bust the 'mill' operations that mistreat the animals and put them out of business and/or jail/fine the owners (if a fine, make it 'final' for their little business).



(9,126 posts)
22. What you described is 1 in a million
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:14 PM
May 2015

That doesn't sound like a "backyard" operation and could perhaps be a licensed breeder. They would need to be monitored that they are complying with good practices and not inbreeding. There is no agency that monitors breeders currently. Most importantly, he profit needs to be taken out of breeding animals because it leads greedy, sick people to make money of the suffering of these animals. The license for breeding should be very hard to get and lives up to the highest standards. We have enough pets that need good homes as it is.


(12,017 posts)
23. maybe 'independent' is the word?
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:18 PM
May 2015

they have four bitches breeding at any time... no more than one litter per year per bitch and not bred past the age of 5 or 6. it is their retirement 'job'. i don't recall them having a breeding license (is there even such a thing?)...

i think there is a place for reputable breeders... and some breeds worth preserving.




(12,530 posts)
39. Our border collie came from a working ranch
Wed May 27, 2015, 03:48 PM
May 2015

I don't know if that's condidered backyard breeding or not. But I was glad to be able to meet both parents and see what his home was like.


(109,068 posts)
50. If it was illegal to sell dogs, then no one could have dogs as pets anymore.
Wed May 27, 2015, 04:51 PM
May 2015

The solution is to regulate them, not to ban them.


(38,481 posts)
68. That makes no sense.
Wed May 27, 2015, 11:13 PM
May 2015

I've grown up with dogs, and everyone in my extended family has dogs.

Nobody buys dogs. They either show up as strays, or we adopt them from the animal shelter.

People would still breed dogs even with strict regulation and laws against selling them, some of them might even sell dogs illegally, but that could be a tool to shut down unethical breeders.

And a certain number of dogs always manage to escape before they are spayed or neutered and breed themselves.

Our oldest dog is a "product" of the Dalmation fad.

Our next dog is a "product" of the Husky fad, sold to owners who knew nothing about Huskies (they can be difficult dogs) and ended up keeping him chained 24/7 in their yard, which is illegal in California.

Our youngest dog is probably an escapee from a breeder who has since left California. She was feral for a few months and it took some work to get her reacustomed to humans. She is an expert hunter of rats, mice, and edible garbage, and can be as invisible as a suburban fox or coyote when she wants to be. She's also a terrible thief. Look away for a few seconds and your sandwich will be gone, and you won't have seen her coming or going. She adores my wife, and seems to fully aware that my wife probably saved her life by adopting her.

My sister-in-law's family has a dog I found skin-and-bones starving, thirsty, and covered with fleas and mites. He had a collar, but no identification or microchip. I think he was a foreclosure dog, abandoned or lost when someone was forced out of their home. He cleaned up well, and is now one happy and very enthusiastic creature who yelps with pure joy whenever he sees me.


(109,068 posts)
70. Even the dogs you take in as strays or adopt from the shelter came from somewhere.
Thu May 28, 2015, 12:13 AM
May 2015

Most came from breeding operations. As long as people continue to want dogs as pets, the only thing that "makes sense" is to regulate the conditions under which they are produced and sold.


(38,481 posts)
72. Would you say the same about human babies?
Thu May 28, 2015, 01:30 AM
May 2015

They could be a commodity "produced and sold" as well.

I'm not exactly equating dogs to human babies, but I think working dogs could be ethically bred and placed by breed-specific organizations.

If one wanted say, a Blue Lacy to hunt pigs with, one would pay for membership in a Blue Lacey organization, learn some of the unique aspects of these high energy dogs and eventually acquire one, probably for actual pig hunting and other activities these dogs are suited to.

Like other high energy hunting and herding dogs, Lacys don't tolerate boredom, and it's in the best interest of the dog and the breed that a potential owner is aware of this and has high energy interesting tasks for their dog to do.

Companion dogs do another sort of work, and could have similar organizations.

In all cases breeding would be accomplished with greatest regard for the animals health and disposition, under strict regulation, and 100% placement with humans who knows what the breed is about. You wouldn't write a check to the breeder, you'd write a check to the organization and they would supervise and might subsidize the best, most ethical breeders.

People who enjoy certain breeds of dogs, or find them useful for a particular sort of work are still going to breed these dogs even if there is no profit in it.

I'm just kicking around ideas. We need to find ways to put the unethical breeders out of business, and discourage people who create markets for dogs that are either inappropriate for them as pets, or are inbred and unhealthy.


(109,068 posts)
73. No, but you eat meat, don't you? It's an animal product that is bought and sold.
Thu May 28, 2015, 01:55 AM
May 2015

We're not all that far apart, IMO. We both think dog breeding should be strictly regulated and limited to conscientious breeders. We also agree that dogs should be bred primarily for health and temperament, and that people who acquire them should understand the needs of the dog they are getting.

Where we differ is on writing a check to the breeder. We just did that and couldn't be happier. This is the third dog we've had, and all have been raised by conscientious breeders, but this breeder was the best. She did extensive genetic testing to reduce the chance of an inherited illness and worked to socialize the puppies, in her home, from the age of three weeks. She also keeps the puppies till the age of 10 weeks because she wants to get them through that fear period before releasing them.

She knew we already had an older dog and she helped us pick a match based on temperament. Our older dog had gotten dog-shy (after being attacked from behind by pair of big dogs), but after two weeks, these two are having a ball together.

I don't know how we would have benefited by buying a dog through an organization rather than from the individual breeder. Whatever profit she made, she deserved. She did a terrific job.



(23,156 posts)
114. I do believe our rescued animal friends
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 10:49 PM
Jun 2015

understand they've been given a new chance at a life.

For me it's cats, but it's exactly the same. At the moment I live without any companions, but someday I'll be ready to be a crazy cat lady again, and it's off to the shelter.


(15,342 posts)
97. Not true
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 08:01 AM
Jun 2015

It is illegal to sell human organs. It is illegal to sell human babies. Both continue to exist.


(3,033 posts)
113. No. If it was illegal to sell dogs, then no one would be having 'pure bred' breeds anymore.
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 10:34 PM
Jun 2015

Giving them away for free is still a option, which is what normal people do whenever their mixed breed whatever dog has pups.

Now, if we made it illegal to own unfixed dogs, then we'd start seeing fewer people with pets. After all, kinda hard to have a animal for a pet if the species is dying off and not being replaced.


(9,116 posts)
51. Putting an end to inbreeding is a step in the right direction...
Wed May 27, 2015, 04:54 PM
May 2015

.... but that will only accomplish so much. Ultimately, the kennel clubs need to loosen their aesthetic standards or go away altogether. I don't know if there's anything we can do to enforce this. And, pessimist that I am, I don't see these conservative, traditionalist organizations making any sweeping revisions to their proclamations just yet.


(6,843 posts)
62. My dogs are FCI registered. Completely different outlook than the AKC
Wed May 27, 2015, 08:47 PM
May 2015

FCI motto - Form shall follow Function. E.g. the dogs MUST prove their field ability. Very strict breeding regulations are enforced with an iron hand in our club. We do not have any of the problems that haunt AKC dogs. Our incidence of hip dysplasia extremely low, and we NEVER have dogs crippled from it.

AKC is a joke because dog shows are simply beauty contests.

The problem with the AKC is that it is run by wives of ultra rich CEO's who have no idea what a working animal is all about.

My dogs are amazing field dogs that point, retrieve, blood trails, and are also good family and guard dogs. Good breeding clubs and good rules ensure good and healthy dogs.


(28,394 posts)
16. An interesting article about cancer in purebreds:
Wed May 27, 2015, 12:37 PM
May 2015

I was searching for an article I recently read about why Golden Retrievers life-span is shrinking. I couldn't find that article, but this one is also interesting:

"Cancer is all too common in dogs, especially golden retrievers: 60% of them die of it, more than twice the average rate for all breeds."


The article does say that mixed breed dogs are just as prone to cancers as purebred, though:

"Are mutts and crossbreeds less prone to cancer? Not necessarily, several experts say. Some studies that have compared purebreds in general to mixed breeds find about a 10% increase in lifespan for comparably sized mixed-breed dogs. But there's no predicting what traits, and health problems, could show up, and no one is keeping statistics."


(109,068 posts)
108. In some breeds, including Goldens, neutering raises the risk of serious cancers.
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 10:05 PM
Jun 2015

That's probably why mixed breeds also have high rates of cancer, because neutering is becoming more and more prevalent.

Hip dysplasia is also more common in neutered dogs.


The research team reviewed the records of female and male golden retrievers, ranging in age from 1 to 8 years, that had been examined at UC Davis’ William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for two joint disorders and three cancers: hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tear, lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma and mast cell tumor. The dogs were classified as intact (not neutered), neutered early (before 12 months age), or neutered late (at or after 12 months age).

Joint disorders and cancers are of particular interest because neutering removes the male dog’s testes and the female’s ovaries, interrupting production of certain hormones that play key roles in important body processes such as closure of bone growth plates, and regulation of the estrous cycle in female dogs.

The study revealed that, for all five diseases analyzed, the disease rates were significantly higher in both males and females that were neutered either early or late compared with intact (non-neutered) dogs.

Specifically, early neutering was associated with an increase in the occurrence of hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tear and lymphosarcoma in males and of cranial cruciate ligament tear in females. Late neutering was associated with the subsequent occurrence of mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcoma in females.

In most areas, the findings of this study were consistent with earlier studies, suggesting similar increases in disease risks. The new study, however, was the first to specifically report an increased risk of late neutering for mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcoma.


(28,394 posts)
125. Wow, that is really shocking.
Tue Jun 2, 2015, 09:43 AM
Jun 2015

We have been told for decades now to neuter dogs for health reasons. I still would not want to have an un-neutered female, though.


(109,068 posts)
127. There is an alternative, without the health effects, that is far more common in Europe.
Tue Jun 2, 2015, 12:58 PM
Jun 2015

Hysterectomies and vasectomies.

For some reason, vets in US choose to do neuters instead.


(30,947 posts)
111. My Rottweiler suffered from liver and bone cancer,
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 10:09 PM
Jun 2015

and I finally had to send her to doggy heaven. But she was already 13 years old, which is pretty much past the life span of Rottweilers. And the Rottie I had before her died of a blood deficiency disease and she was 12 years old.


(37,082 posts)
20. K&R! Pics of breed changes over time:
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:08 PM
May 2015

It seems incredible that at one time the Bull Terrier was a handsome, athletic dog. Somewhere along its journey to a mutated skull and thick abdomen the bull terrier also picked up a number of other maladies like supernumerary teeth and compulsive tail-chasing

A shorter face means a host of problems. The modern Boxer not only has a shorter face but the muzzle is slightly upturned. The boxer – like all bracecyphalic dogs – has difficulty controlling its temperature in hot weather, the inability to shed heat places limits on physical performance. It also has one of the highest cancer rates.

The German Shepherd Dog is also a breed that is routinely mentioned when people talk about ruined breeds; maybe because they used to be awesome. In Dogs of All Nations, the GSD is described as a medium-sized dog (25 kg /55 lb), this is a far cry from the angulated, barrel-chested, sloping back, ataxic, 85-pounders (38 kg) we are used to seeing in the conformation ring. There was a time when the GSD could clear a 2.5 meter (8.5 ft) wall; that time is long gone.

More: https://dogbehaviorscience.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/100-years-of-breed-improvement/

The Velveteen Ocelot

(116,659 posts)
25. As with cats:
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:26 PM
May 2015

The original Siamese breed looked like this:

Now the "breed standard" looks like this:

Persians once looked like this (and fortunately some still exist - "doll-faced" Persians):

The "breed standard" now looks like this - no nose!:

Here's a normal cat skull:

Here's an "extreme" Persian skull:

They've really messed up these poor animals.


Arugula Latte

(50,566 posts)
44. Makes me so upset. I despise breeders.
Wed May 27, 2015, 04:18 PM
May 2015

And millions of wonderful kitties are killed in shelters and these scumbags intentionally produce more "freakish" kitties that pay the price with terrible anatomy and illnesses.


(37,082 posts)
46. It really is abusive.
Wed May 27, 2015, 04:26 PM
May 2015

To me, the dog and cat predecessors are more attractive.

But that is secondary... we all want our furry friends to live long, happy and healthy lives.


(2,132 posts)
55. Wow
Wed May 27, 2015, 05:18 PM
May 2015

I had a Siamese as a kid that looked like the top picture. Today's Siamese cat looks awful!

Today's Persians look horrible, too. Poor things.



(33,688 posts)
61. i remember when Siamese were such pretty cats.
Wed May 27, 2015, 08:45 PM
May 2015

Why would anyone breed a cat to look like that ghastly "breed standard?" Disgusting.


(3,033 posts)
110. I think the breed standard Saimese is pretty...
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 10:07 PM
Jun 2015


Seriously - HOW is that considered the 'ideal' look for the cat?


(7,429 posts)
26. The German Shepherd is the dog that I cry most for
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:26 PM
May 2015

At the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club show the above dog won for best of breed. The back legs looked like they are almost going to drag on the ground. His back must be in so much pain.

The dogs live what 8 years tops. How horrible for them.

I have dachshunds (all 4 were rescued). They have looked the same for the past 100 years or so. Except the people who want to create teacup doxies. This is a made-up breed. The dogs should be big enough to take care of themselves. They are adventurous scoundrels. A teacup can barely take care of himself. I have 2 minis and 2 standards. The 2 minis have more problems than the standards. I can only imagine what the teacups go through


(37,082 posts)
47. That is even more drastic than the pic I posted.
Wed May 27, 2015, 04:30 PM
May 2015

It just looks so unnatural. Poor thing.

My last pup lived to @ 16 years old... twice the average age expectancy as the German Shepherd. Wow.


(5,946 posts)
31. I had a border collie mix when the AKC was considering adding them to a breed list
Wed May 27, 2015, 02:20 PM
May 2015

I tell you there was such stink from border collie owners who had bread them for brains and did not want them bred for looks, but money wins and they were added, expect stupid border collies in your future.


(37,082 posts)
32. Border collies are fascinating.
Wed May 27, 2015, 02:24 PM
May 2015

One of the things I look forward to at the Highland Games are the border collies herding various animals.


(5,946 posts)
34. my dog was redcuedto herding people or geesee inthe park
Wed May 27, 2015, 03:03 PM
May 2015

the problem with Canadian geese is that they can get feisty, we had been attacked more than once.

Major Nikon

(36,859 posts)
67. There's more than one registry for working border collies
Wed May 27, 2015, 09:34 PM
May 2015

My current border collie (who is a rescue) is registered both with AKC and ABCA. She has the strongest herding instinct of any border collie I've owned. The working dog registries are more about the herding instinct which may not coincide with intelligence, but generally does. Chaser, the border collie widely considered to be the smartest dog in the world, came from working dog lineage, not AKC. Dogs from both the aforementioned registries can trace their heritage back to a single dog.


(8,415 posts)
98. Same with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 08:13 AM
Jun 2015

We got our first in 1995 (lived until almost 12 years old) when the club was vigorously fighting AKC inclusion. Then there was a split, and voila, twenty years later, the breed is AKC and is ruined.

Cavaliers are without a doubt my favorite breed, but now we have two rescue mutts. I will never go back to a purebred dog unless it's a rescue situation. Watching our second Cavalier suffer through seizures, mitral valve prolapse, and deafness at a young age, all to die at the age of 7 was awful. My neighbor has a Cavalier who is 4 years old and is on about six medications for the pain of syringomyelia. The breeders don't care, and people are entranced by the look and temperament of Cavaliers and buy, buy, buy. It's just awful.


(5,946 posts)
100. 20 years ifs awfully fast to ruin a breed.
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 09:23 PM
Jun 2015

I had a friend who bred boxers, I use the term friend lightly, She would ship her dogs around the country to compete which seemed cruel to me, but the way she would have them hacked up to meet the "beauty" and the way they did not have the run of the house, but stayed in their dog rooms, made is seem like an expensive hobby rather than an act of love. She actually had a gate into her living room because the dogs were not allowed to leave the kitchen, they could just pace around the gate into the rest of the house.


(20,634 posts)
104. My brother and sister-in-law adopted a CKCS a couple of years ago. The poor thing
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 09:35 PM
Jun 2015

is a basket case - very fearful and paranoid. He's on "doggy Prozac", and has actually improved a little bit from the time they brought him into their home, but still has a ways to go. She and the kids just love him, but I'm really concerned that his very questionable upbringing is going to lead to serious health issues down the road and a limited lifespan.


Boudica the Lyoness

(2,899 posts)
123. It's cruel what we have done to some breeds.
Tue Jun 2, 2015, 01:16 AM
Jun 2015

A few years ago I was at a freeway rest stop, taking our dog out for a break, and saw a man walking his German Shepherd. I thought I was looking at a dog that had been in an accident and had a spinal injury. I hadn't seen this breed since the 50's and 60's and was pretty shocked to realize people had bred the GSD to look like this.

What a shame.


(7,947 posts)
24. Yeah, it started with the domestication of non-human life all those years ago
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:22 PM
May 2015

We do it for our benefit, not theirs. Same with cows, chickens, pigs, etc. Farming, same thing. We cut down forests, and then make a tree farm. It's all about controlling life. We don't need Monsanto to do it. We've been doing it for a long time, and something like Monsanto is just on a larger scale.


(6,248 posts)
27. Poor babies
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:26 PM
May 2015

Some can't even breath because of the breeding of specific traits. So sad. I always love the rescue mutts, myself.



(23,156 posts)
30. I recently read "A Matter of Breeding"
Wed May 27, 2015, 01:55 PM
May 2015

by Michael Brandow, and it covers many of the issues raised here in exquisite details.

And here's a link to a BBC documentary about this: http://documentaryheaven.com/bbc-pedigree-dogs-exposed/

It's been happening in cats, as someone above also noted.

I'm a cat, not a dog person, but in either case I'll take an ordinary domestic housecat or some kind of a mutt over an inbred monster any day of the week.


(28,581 posts)
42. I think my husky mix is even more beautiful then a purebred
Wed May 27, 2015, 04:16 PM
May 2015

But then again, I think the original owners bought him from a sled dog breeder up north. They decided to get rid of him at 6 months because their cats "didn't like him". Their loss, my gain. But I am still trying to fix the damage they did in those first 6 months.


(12,151 posts)
45. Breed sparingly, for health and good temperament.
Wed May 27, 2015, 04:22 PM
May 2015

Not for mass profits or exotic looks.

Brachiocephalic breeds and others with physiological problems related to "breed standards" should be allowed to return to more normal, dog-like proportions.

I like the different breeds for their special abilities and good looks, but it should all be in service of healthy, hearty animals that can enjoy their lives. I remember dog-sitting for a young Pug once, and she was sweet and a lot of fun, but a little running around would cause her distress, and I worried about her breathing the whole time.

There's no good reason for a dog to suffer with a super-short face that doesn't work with their physiology simply to look more "human."


(109,068 posts)
52. Our dogs are healthy, deliberately-bred mixes,
Wed May 27, 2015, 04:56 PM
May 2015

with the best features of both breeds. The breeder did extensive genetic testing of the parents and was very conscientious about socializing the puppies, who lived in her home.

Despite what some people think, there is such a thing as a good breeder.


(27,670 posts)
105. My favorite breed is a purebred Lab - purebred German Shepherd mix.
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 09:45 PM
Jun 2015

Not always the most beautiful dogs, but their intelligence and intuition, along with so many other positives, is remarkable.


(109,068 posts)
106. I can see how that could be a good mix.
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 09:56 PM
Jun 2015

Ours are lab - poodles. (aka labradoodles). Like a lab/shepherd, they are very smart and highly trainable. But they don't shed and can be bred to a smaller size (about 30 pounds is what ours are, but there's a big range).

We don't give them fancy haircuts -- just get them shaved down several times a year. And they love the water, and to run. Our senior dog died last winter, leaving our 6 year old. Now we have a puppy. Fortunately, the puppy and the 6 year old wear each other out pretending to be gladiators. A tired puppy is a good puppy!


(38,481 posts)
69. The Bush family eugenics experiment hasn't turned out well...
Wed May 27, 2015, 11:34 PM
May 2015

God forbid the U.S.A. ever suffer another President from that line.



(78,249 posts)
56. Golden retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia.
Wed May 27, 2015, 05:21 PM
May 2015

Quite a few Dalmatians are deaf.

Irish wolfhounds tend to succumb to heart disease at a young age.

And so on and so on ad nauseam.

a la izquierda

(11,816 posts)
59. I love my strays...
Wed May 27, 2015, 08:36 PM
May 2015

only one is purebred, but I found him that way. He's a chihuahua and the vet thinks he probably escaped a backyard puppy mill, pretty popular in Oklahoma; either that or he was dumped.

The other two are total messes of mutts.


(17,063 posts)
64. It is so sad.
Wed May 27, 2015, 08:53 PM
May 2015

America's first bred dog the Boston Terrier is now prone to cataracts, glaucoma and teeth issues due to their head shapes.

I have two that were rescues from mills. My oldest has cataracts now. He is 12 years old and I am not sure that I'll seek surgery for him because of his age.

Very sad. I hate backyard breeders!



(12,047 posts)
65. It'll be OK - a couple generations after people and they'll all be mutts again
Wed May 27, 2015, 09:07 PM
May 2015

in the meantime, love your dog



(16,184 posts)
66. Westminster and the AKC can all go thoroughly fuck themselves.
Wed May 27, 2015, 09:31 PM
May 2015

Dogs are friends and companions, not fucking accessories.


(27,630 posts)
71. I love my mixed breed.
Thu May 28, 2015, 01:12 AM
May 2015

He's border collie and australian shepherd. He has no idea he wasn't born with prestige. He's justtthe best dog in the world.

The Velveteen Ocelot

(116,659 posts)
74. I've done a little more reading on this, and learned some interesting things.
Thu May 28, 2015, 03:07 PM
May 2015

Most dog breeds have existed for a long time, sometimes many hundreds of years. People bred dogs as working animals, and tried to breed for qualities that would serve the function for which they were being bred. So, for example, border collies ended up with agility, stamina and intelligence, and dachshunds had short legs so they could chase badgers into their burrows. But they were healthy; they had to be. More recently, though, people started breeding for looks, and took existing traits and exaggerated them. That's how German shepherds, long bred for strength and intelligence, wound up with strangely sloped backs (and I don't understand why they think this is an attractive trait) and resulting hip dysplasia, and dachshunds' legs became freakishly short, causing back problems. Afghan hounds are an ancient breed, having been developed in the cold climate of Afghanistan as a hunting dog. But now they are just show dogs; their heads have become so narrow there's hardly any room for brains, so they are now as dumb as stumps, and they have many other health problems as well.

It's a little different with cats. People didn't get into cat breeding and showing until the late 19th century, when cats from other parts of the world were brought to England. There were some very old existing breeds like the Siamese and the Angora, but apart from their coats they were normal cats. But like the dog breeders, humans took existing traits and exaggerated them, so now Siamese cats look like weasels and Persians have almost no noses. But the other thing that is happening with cats is that people are creating breeds out of spontaneous natural mutations - that's where the Scottish fold, the Sphynx and the Munchkin came from. But the distinguishing traits of these breeds (folded ears, hairlessness, very short legs) are abnormalities, and the genes that cause them also carry other, more dangerous traits. The short-legged Munchkin, for example, may actually suffer from a form of achondroplasic dwarfism, and some cat fancier associations refuse to recognize the breed. These cats probably could not survive outside a home because they are unable to jump like a normal cat.

Anyway, what's wrong with all of this is that people are deliberately breeding into these animals traits that are not healthy. Not all breeders are doing this, but obviously many are, and IMO it's despicable.

smokey nj

(43,853 posts)
77. The AKC refuses to acknowledge that their standards are
Sun May 31, 2015, 01:27 PM
May 2015

harming the dogs. Real Sports did a segment about this several months ago it was an intriguing piece.


(10,177 posts)
76. Read Temple Grandin
Sun May 31, 2015, 01:19 PM
May 2015

on breed characteristics. She has some interesting things to say about not only cats and dogs, but chickens and cattle as well, mainly having to do with color and eye color. White animals in particular don't fare too well in her commentary.


(46,179 posts)
78. I like working breeds,
Sun May 31, 2015, 01:39 PM
May 2015

for this very reason.

Even working breeds, though, are damaged when bred for a very few characteristics.

Mutts are fine with me, although I'd prefer that all dogs and cats be spayed and neutered, and that only dogs belonging to responsible breeders (who breed for health) be allowed to reproduce.


(30,891 posts)
82. We have one dog who is a Lab mix of some kind.
Sun May 31, 2015, 03:11 PM
May 2015

The people who gave her to us had a dog for seven years. She never had puppies, so they thought things were fine. Ooops! They had her spayed after that.

Our Lab mix is a great dog.

Our other dog is a purebred. She came to us by accident. We love her.

Both of our dogs are beautiful and smart. We have never paid for a dog, either. All the dogs before these two were rescues.

We sometimes go to a vet who donates his time to a local animal shelter. He does all the spaying and neutering, doctoring, shots, etc. He has told us that the mixed breed dogs are healthier. He tries to get everyone to adopt shelter dogs.


(91,728 posts)
88. I got a little gal who was being rehomed. She has hybrid vigor from nose to tail. And smart.
Sun May 31, 2015, 04:50 PM
May 2015

Her original owners paid $1200 for her as a Lhasa Apso /Poodle cross, but gave her up at 11 months because their dream retirement home community didn't allow dogs and cats (I think it's on the edge of a lake). I got her for the rehoming fee. Basically, I was looking for a small, young, mixed breed dog -- one that would fit my lifestyle and be physically and emotionally healthy. She is wonderful, and our vet says she could live to be 18 years.

We've had numerous dogs come and go through the years thanks to the kids, and only the purebred Shelty had persistent health problems so bad he had to be put to sleep at 8 years. He was a sweet boy, but not healthy.

I have read so much about overbreeding in the past many decades that I really would not want to get a purebred anything. I think the "pure" breeding programs should be considered animal cruelty.


(38,481 posts)
112. I think our adopted husky is a quarter white shepherd.
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 10:20 PM
Jun 2015

You have a very fine dog there.

Our dingo is dingo; what it's like to live with the ancient dog breeds,

I'd trust dingo with babies, but never ever her wild born kin.

Sometimes I see through dingo's eyes the canine-human relationship forty thousand years ago.

It's delicate.

But our husky mix loves all humans unconditionally. Worst watch dog ever. He'd ask a burglar for a belly rub.


(16,926 posts)
115. We also have a purebred white shepherd
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 11:03 PM
Jun 2015

As well as a mix we're not quite sure of - German Shorthair/?

All adopted, and all came from some very rough backgrounds. And all are our babies.


(38,481 posts)
116. Lovely family!
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 11:29 PM
Jun 2015

Our husky has wear marks on his teeth from chewing on a chain.

He was taken away from people who couldn't handle him. Chaining a dog outside 24-7 is illegal in California.

My wife adopted him because dingo was too much trouble for our older dog, dingo always wanting to play.

Old dog would rather sleep.

Dingo and Husky are best friends now.


(16,926 posts)
118. The white shepherd was turned into the shelter in extremely bad shape
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 11:54 PM
Jun 2015

Very underfed, with a bad case of mange. She is still quite jumpy on our walks and continuously turns around to see if we're being followed.

Molly, the shorthair, is missing a canine tooth and can also be a bit timid. She rolls onto her back when anyone enters the room and will drag herself to you on her belly instead of getting up and walking.

These two girls are like Siamese twins and are always together. I'm afraid of what may happen when either passes. All three get along great and it's a joy having them.


(28,581 posts)
117. He resembles my husky mix a bit :)
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 11:44 PM
Jun 2015

And he has the same sense of humor, I see!!!!

Mine is a liver colored low-content wolfdog.


(16,926 posts)
119. He's a smiler
Mon Jun 1, 2015, 11:58 PM
Jun 2015

People have asked on our walks if he has wolf bloodlines and I tell them no. But ultimately they all do, don't they?


(28,581 posts)
120. Yup, they all do :)
Tue Jun 2, 2015, 12:01 AM
Jun 2015

Although I bet you have a bit of an easier time with your, then I do with mine. Wolf content makes for an even more challenging companion then a husky already is!!!!!

Your pup is gorgeous and looks very, very happy


(16,926 posts)
121. He can sure howl like a wolf when we leave the house
Tue Jun 2, 2015, 12:14 AM
Jun 2015

Or if he gets frustrated at dog training class.


(28,581 posts)
124. I know right?
Tue Jun 2, 2015, 02:58 AM
Jun 2015

Mine talks and argues and is so pack oriented that he has severe abandonment issues. You would think I was killing him by leaving the room without him!!!!!!!!!!! And you can see him thinking about it before he decides to obey a command. Like he is wieghing the options.

LOL...I am making him sound terrible. He is a love and so funny and totally gorgeous and smart. But he is nuts


(8,554 posts)
122. You've got some fine-looking woofies, there. All three of them!
Tue Jun 2, 2015, 12:26 AM
Jun 2015

Beautiful babies!

And thank you for giving all three of them your home to share!

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